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Shady Practices in Conservatorship
updated: Jul 11, 2013, 3:39 PM

By William Smithers

Bryan Rosen's recent letter to the "Independent" detailing Judge Stern's startling ignoring of a proper "Power of Attorney," thereby forcing the use of psychotropic drugs on a person trapped in the court's Conservatorship program, is only the most recent example of the extensive and repeated corruption of our local court's management of this system.

I've asked the editor of the new Santa Barbara online publication "Mission and State" - which specializes in investigative journalism - to explore this issue. No luck so far.

In the meantime, if EdHat readers would like to know more about the current uses of the Conservatorship program as practiced by Judge Stern and others, please review the half-hour television interview of Bryan and his mother at:

view interview at sb-justbetweenus.com

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 430544 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 03:50 PM

Isn't that what set off the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?


 COMMENT 430555 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 04:02 PM

It's too bad there's no text at the site - I really wanted to know more but my cheap wifi doesn't support streaming video.


 COMMENT 430605P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 05:45 PM

THANK YOU, Mr. Smithers! And Mrs. Smithers!
I apologize for thinking that yours was a screen/online name; I'm sure you've heard it before...
I don't watch Community TV anymore because I don't have a cable box. Appreciate the previous coverage of this case also, and Bless the son, Mr. Rosen.
This just makes me more glad that I am able to care for my parent, and that both parents made their plans long ago.
I've had a living will since I was 40-ish. A cliche, but -- Let this be a lesson to us all. back to watching the show.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 06:08 PM

Don't you know it! I must say "You Rock!" To stand up for that subject. I am Surprised at "Mission and State" I thought they were all about Social Injustices. Will they certainly Talk the Walk just like everyone else in good old Santa Barbie! It seems they all start out with good intentions but I guess it ends up being replaced with something more tempting..I've heard of some people really getting screwed in the courts here concerning this matter. I wouldn't doubt one bit some of them are out there Homeless on our streets! Maybe they ought to consider looking into that I knew a handicapped gal acouple years ago that was in Casa that happened to. She said the home was in her family for along time. It was hers she inhearited it and she was tossed out of it. Sorry for the mis spelling I'm just not all there...


 COMMENT 430630P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 07:10 PM

605 here. Where were her kids/this caring son beforehand? I know Bryan Rosen said there was family discord. Mrs. Rosen also should have had her paperwork in order. I sound nasty, I'm not. Thank you to this family for being a public example of what happens when your affairs are not in order. And if the house and property is worth over a million, she's NOT like us. I fully realize that is what makes her a target. (The elderly who bought their houses for 15-30K are also targets.) It also makes her able to afford an attorney to create a trust of whatever kind, and consult with her doctor and even attorney re: documented end of life wishes.

Mrs. Rosen is stunningly competent, obviously. I'm envious. And so happy she and her son are where there are at now; functioning as well they are. I hope he's now her trustee and both financial and health POA. There ARE good agencies out there,some can even handle fiduciary responsibilities. Another thing to consider. Caregivers too can die before their charges do.

Great show, but lots of loaded questions, Mr. and Mrs. Smithers. I don't think people can be "forced to sign a paper like that..." re: advance directives or health POA. I know there are legal channels to leave it to family if the sick person doesn't sign. Same thing, overall.

Our culture has got to change its views on death and accept it as a part of life. At least do advance directives for your children, sisters, brothers, spouses, your own parents, and whomever, so that they are not burdened.

Drugs for Alzheimers have so little efficacy that I would never bother with them for me or my family.

What a pleasure to hear Bryan Rosen praise the Public Guardian's office, for their caring, understanding and clear-sightedness.

This is what lack of legal planning and the lack of legally recognized end of life documents leads to. We must take responsibility for ourselves. Please get your affairs in order. Yes, it's obviously quite personal for me. But our paperwork is in order.
Thanks again to the Rosens for highlighting this issue.

Now can we do some more intense education?! I doubt anyone will read this long post carefully, but yo... [ more ]


 COMMENT 430632P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 07:12 PM

605 here. Continuation:

Now can we do some more intense education?! I doubt anyone will read this long post carefully, but most of your friends and neighbors and family are dealing with this. I got emotional in my writing. I mean absolutely no disrespect to the Rosens or the Smithers. I just want to thank you!


 COMMENT 430642P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-11 07:26 PM

Roger, I think Mission & State started publishing 2 months ago. Give them a chance. Didn't the son say this conservatorship and attendant struggle went on for about SIX years? The Independent published him; maybe other local sites. Indeed this is an important issue and great coverage! Thanks again to all involved.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-12 08:09 AM

2 Months is along time.


 COMMENT 430799P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-12 09:19 AM

That's pretty powerful. I glad you gave the name of the judge. There should be some accountability in the courts.


 COMMENT 430802P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-12 09:24 AM

To say that "this is a horror story that is not uncommon" is not a responsible commentary. To create fear in the elder community that there are predators lurking around every corner to steal and control folks is a disservice. We have several safeguards, such as the public guardian described here and the public defender, which can intervene when the guardianship is threatened. From personal experience I can tell you that it is not a correct characterization to say the that public defender "echoes" the position of the guardian. To state that there are "corrupt public guardians" is just as much an unjust smear. The fact is that the system worked in this case and that there are many folks who need guardianship and this total is increasing, not because of corruption, but because of an aging population and the growth of dementia.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-12 11:33 AM

He is not creating fear he is telling the truth Santa Barbara is a horror show for our frail elderly. I have seen acouple of elderly people burned by the system of injustice here. The elderly should be warned...I would produce victims for you but they are dead.


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